Tough Road Ahead for the Rookie

Jacksonville has made just one trip to the red zone....this season. They are at the bottom of nearly every passing category and rank 31st in the all-important scoring statistic. They will likely need more points than they scored all season to compete with the Saints on Sunday.

It doesn't get any easier for Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert Sunday.

Gabbert wound up on the losing end in his first start as a rookie last Sunday when another rookie, Cam Newton, put together a fourth-quarter drive for the winning touchdown to beat the Jaguars, 16-10.

Gabbert faces an even tougher challenge Sunday when he goes against veteran Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.

The Jaguars scored just 29 points in their first three games and have made just one trip to the red zone.

Luke McCown was benched after throwing four picks against the New York Jets, but Gabbert didn't provide much of a spark to the offense against Carolina.

The Jaguars are going to have to score more points to stay competitive with the Saints.

Gabbert completed 12 of 21 passes for 139 yards and was sacked twice, once for a safety, and threw one interception against the Panthers and had a 73.3 passer rating.

It didn't help that it started to rain heavily late in the second quarter and even though it stopped in the second half, the field and the balls were soaked.

"Well, there were some ups and downs. We had a little adversity throughout the majority of the game. At the end of the day, you still have to get the job done. It comes down to individual accountability. Like I said, we didn't and they did," he said.

Gabbert fumbled four snaps but one was nullified.

"There was a point in the game where we had no (dry) balls left, so we were trying to use the driest ball out there. But it's tough to do when you're running the ball in those situations, no matter how wet the ball is. That ultimately falls on my shoulders," he said.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis said, "I thought it was solid. Given the conditions and everything like that. We have to play much better to help him make the transition. I'm pretty sure he is going to get better next week than he was this week."

Coach Jack Del Rio likes to divide the season into quarters and the Jaguars now have to upset New Orleans to avoid going 1-3 in the first quarter of the season.

Del Rio is under a mandate to make the playoffs to keep his job and it won't be easy to overcome a 1-3 start and still make the playoffs.

They're also 9-14 in their last 23 games and only one victory has come over a team that finished with a winning record.

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